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John Wilkins (Motor Engineers) Ltd v HMRC

In John Wilkins (Motor Engineers) Ltd v HMRC (and related appeals) (CA – 30 July) five companies which traded as car dealers had accounted for output tax on sales of ‘demonstrator cars’ on which input tax had been ‘blocked’ and which should have been treated as exempt (applying the ECJ decision in EC Commission v Italian Republic [1997] STC 1062) and on payments from manufacturers which should have been treated as discounts on the sale price of the cars (applying the ECJ decision in Elida Gibbs Ltd [1996] STC 1387).

HMRC made the repayments together with simple interest under VATA 1994 s 78. The companies appealed to the Upper Tribunal contending that the effect of the HL decision in CIR v Sempra Metals Ltd ([2007] STC 1559 HL) was they were entitled to compound interest. The Upper Tribunal dismissed the appeals holding that...

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